You are on page 1of 17

Simulation of Proton Stopping Power and

Range in a Variety of Human Body Tissues


Tim de Wild
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
University of Groningen (RUG)
May 21, 2016

Introduction
Proton beam therapy (PBT) [1] and [2] is a specific type of external beam therapy
that can be used in cancer treatments. The main advantage of PBT over other types
of external beam therapy such as gamma ray therapy is the protons energy deposition
behavior. Protons depose most of their energy over a narrow range the instant before
they are stopped in the tissue, in contrast to gamma rays, which continuously depose
energy along their path and hence damage surrounding tissue. Due to this specific
energy deposition behavior of protons, less surrounding tissue is damaged and the
tumor can be treated more effectively.
If proton beam therapy is part of a cancer surgery, the treatment plan requires an
accurate description of the energy loss and ranges of protons in human tissue. The
International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) treats the
stopping power and range of protons in body tissues [3]. Tables and graphs of the data
from the ICRU are available in an online database1 hosted by the National Institute
for Standards and Technology (NIST). However, the data from the ICRU is limited to
certain types of body tissues, for instance adipose, skeletal and muscle tissue. Other
human body tissues relevant for cancer treatments, for example many organ tissues,
are not treated by the ICRU and hence not available in the NIST database.
This work presents proton energy losses and ranges in the kinetic energy regime 5 300 MeV for eight human body tissues, which are not available in the NIST database.
The studied body tissues are brain, lung, skin, testes, heart, kidney, liver and mammary
gland tissues. In addition, energy loss and ranges are calculated for four body materials,
which are available in the NIST database in order to compare results. The materials
for which data is compared are liquid water, compact bone, adipose and skeletal muscle
tissue.
This paper begins with a theoretical framework, presented in section 1, used to
calculate proton stopping powers and ranges in the studied body tissues based on the
Bethe equation [4]. Section 2 is devoted to the simulation and results. This section
is divided into two subsections. The first subsection, section 2.1, describes how the
properties of the different body tissues are incorporated in the calculations and presents
the considered kinematic regime. The second part, section 2.2, gives the results of the
calculations and provides a comparison with the NIST database. In section 3 the
results are discussed and possible improvements are addressed. Finally, section 4 gives
a conclusion.

See http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Star/Text/PSTAR.html

Contents
1 Theoretical Framework
1.1 Proton interaction types: an overview . . . . . . .
1.2 The Bethe equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2.1 Maximal transferable energy . . . . . . . .
1.2.2 Density effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2.3 Kinematic relations . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3 Specification of the medium . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.4 Range: continuously slowing down approximation

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

3
3
4
5
5
7
7
8

2 Simulation and Results


2.1 Energy range and input parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9
9
10

3 Discussion

12

4 Conclusion

13

A Density Effect Correction ()

14

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Figure 1: Three main interactions types of protons in matter:


Coulombic interaction with electrons (a), scattering from atomic
nuclei (b) and the nuclear interaction in which the proton is removed and secondary particles are created (c). Bremsstrahlung is
not shown, figure taken from Ref. [1].

Theoretical Framework

In this section, the theoretical framework is described. Section 1.1 provides a brief
overview concerning the interactions of protons with the traversed matter. In section
1.2 the Bethe equation, which describes the energy loss of protons in the considered
kinetic energy range, is presented. Furthermore, important variables in the equation
are discussed. Section 1.3 covers the quantities appearing in the Bethe equation that
describe the medium traversed by the protons. In addition, this section describes a
method to calculate these quantities for human body tissues if not available in literature. Finally, the continuously slowing down approximation (CSDA) method is discussed in section 1.4, which is used to calculate the range of protons in the considered
body tissues.

1.1

Proton interaction types: an overview

As heavy charged particles such as protons penetrate matter they lose energy. Therefore, their velocity will decrease and the particles will eventually come to a hold. The
energy loss of the charged particle is due to interactions with atoms or nuclei in the
medium. The main interaction mechanisms are the inelastic Coulombic interactions
with atomic electrons, Coulombic interactions with atomic nuclei, nuclear interactions,
and Bremsstrahlung [1].
3

Fig. 1 shows the first three types of interactions, Bremsstrahlung is not shown.
Subfigure (a) shows the Coulombic interaction of the proton with an atomic electron.
Furthermore, subfigure (b) shows deflection of the proton due scattering from the
atomic nucleus. Finally, the removal of the primary proton and creation of secondary
particles via non-elastic nuclear interactions is shown in (c).
The inelastic Coulombic interactions between the proton and the atomic electrons
cause an energy transfer to the electrons. As a consequence, the proton loses kinetic
energy. The energy transfer results in excitation or ionization of the atomic electrons.
To a first-order approximation, protons continuously lose kinetic energy via frequent
inelastic Coulombic interactions. Energy loss due to this interaction mechanism is
referred to as electronic energy loss and may be described by the Bethe equation [4]
for a specific kinematic regime: see section 1.2. For PBT purposes, the proton energy
range of interest lies within this specific regime.
Since the protons mass is three orders of magnitude larger than the electron mass,
the deflection of protons in inelastic Coulombic interactions may be neglected. As a
consequence, most protons follow nearly a straight trajectory through matter. However, a proton passing close the atomic nucleus is subject to a repulsive Coulombic
interaction, which, due to the large mass of the nucleus, may deflect the proton from
its straight path.
Non-elastic nuclear interactions between the proton and the atomic nucleus occur
less frequently but are fundamentally different from the previous interaction mechanisms. In nuclear interactions, the incoming proton is absorbed by the nucleus and the
nucleus emits secondary particles.
Finally, proton Bremsstrahlung is possible. In a Bremsstrahlung interaction, the
proton is deflected in the nucleus electric field and hence decelerated. In order to
conserve energy during the interaction, a photon is emitted with an energy equal to
the kinetic energy lost by the proton during the deceleration. Energy loss caused by
Bremsstrahlung is referred to as radiative energy loss. The total energy loss is equal
to the sum of electronic and radiative energy loss.
However, the contribution of radiative energy loss to the total energy loss2 is less
than one per cent for . 60 ( 55 GeV) [4]. Since the kinematic energy interval of
interest ranges from 5 to 300 MeV, the effects of radiative energy losses are neglected.
Under these conditions, the total energy loss of the proton is equal to the electronic
energy loss described earlier.

1.2

The Bethe equation

In the kinematic regime 0.1 . . 1000, corresponding to the kinetic energy range
5 MeV . T . 106 MeV for protons, the electronic energy loss per unit length hdE/dxi
can be described by the Bethe equation [4]. As mentioned above, in the considered
energy range radiative energy loss is negligible. Therefore the total stopping power is
2

Variously called total energy loss or (total) stopping power.

governed by the Bethe equation.


Above the lower limit & 0.1, the orbital velocity of the electron can be neglected
compared to the projectiles velocity. Based on this fact, Bethe considers the atomic
electrons to be stationary [5]. For the case . 0.1, this assumption is invalid and
no adequate theoretical understanding is available. Anderson and Ziegler propose
phenomenological fits to describe the electronic energy loss here [6]. At the upper limit
& 1000 radiative energy loss becomes important.
The Bethe equation applies to charged particles with a mass M  me , which holds
for protons. The equation reads [4]:


 
1 2me c2 2 2 Wmax
()
dE
2Z 1
2
= Kz
ln
.
(1)

dx
A 2 2
I2
2
Using units as defined in Table 1, the stopping power hdE/dxi is in MeV cm2 g1 .
For low energies, the 1/ 2 term in Eq. 1 dominates and the stopping power decreases proportional to 1/ 2 . After the stopping power reaches a minimum value
hdE/dximin , it slowly increases again for higher energies. This increase of the stopping
power for high energies is known as the relativistic rise.
Most important quantities in the equation are the maximum transferable energy
Tmax in a single collision with an atomic electron, the density effect correction ()
and quantities that specify the medium: hZ/Ai and I. The quantities Tmax , ()
and the connection of the kinematic variables , and to the kinetic energy T are
discussed below. The specification of the medium by means of hZ/Ai and I is discussed
in section 1.3.
1.2.1

Maximal transferable energy

The variable Wmax represents the maximal transferable energy to an atomic electron.
For a charged particle of mass M and momentum M c this maximal transferable
energy is:
2me c2 2 2
.
(2)
Wmax =
1 + 2me /M + (me /M )2
For the case 2me /M  1 this expression reduces to Wmax = 2me c2 2 2 . The above
expression for Wmax is derived based on the assumption that the electrons are free and
stationary.
1.2.2

Density effect

The term () is known as the density effect correction relevant at high proton energies
T & 1 GeV. The density effect correction corrects for the relativistic rise of the stopping
power at high energies, taking the polarization of the medium into account. However,
as with radiative effects, this effect is neglected since it is not relevant for the energy
range of interest. Appendix A shows a method to incorporate the density effect in the
Bethe equation at high energies T & 1 GeV.
5

Nomenclature
Symbol

M
z
E
T
Wmax

me c2
re
NA
K
~p
()

Z
A
hZ/Ai
I
Ij
Ne

wj

Definition

Value or (usual) units

relativistic speedp
v/c
gamma factor 1/ 1 2
mass incident particle
mass proton M = Mp
charge of incident particle
energy particle M c2
kinetic energy ( 1)Mi c2
maximum energy transfer
to atomic electron

MeV
938.272 MeV
units of elem. charge e
MeV
MeV

fine structure constant


e2 /40 ~c
electron mass c2
classical electron radius
e2 /40 me c2
Avogadros number
4NA re2 me c2
plasma energy
p
4Ne re3 me c2 /
density effect correction
for hdE/dxi

MeV
1/137.035 999 074 (44)
0.551 998 928 (11) MeV
2.817 940 3267 (27) fm
6.022 141 29 (27) 1023 mol1
0.307
075 MeV mol1 cm2
p
hZ/Ai 28.816 eV
, in g cm3

density of medium
atomic number of medium
atomic mass of medium
mean ratio Z to A
for a compound
mean excitation energy
excitation energy of j-th
component in a mixture
electron density:
Ne = NA Z/A
Ne = NA Z/A
weight fraction of j-th
component in a compound

g/cm3
g mol1
g1 mol
eV (Attention! )
eV
electrons/g
electrons/cm3

Table 1: Summary of frequently used symbols in this thesis and


their definitions, when necessary values and/or (usual) units are
also mentioned.

1.2.3

Kinematic relations

As formulated in Eq. 1, the Bethe equation depends on the kinematic variables ,


and their product . In order to evaluate the stopping power as function of kinetic
energy T these kinematic variables must be expressed in terms of T , reading:
p
p
E(E + 2)
,
=E +1,
= E(E + 2),
(3)
=
E +1
where E = T /Mp is the ratio of the protons kinetic energy T to its mass Mp .

1.3

Specification of the medium

Quantities specifying the traversed medium are hZ/Ai and I. The former is the
mediums mean ratio of atomic number to atomic mass. The latter represents the
mean excitation energy I, which is a measure for the average energy needed to ionize
an atomic electron. For eight of the twelve considered body tissues values for hZ/Ai
respectively I are tabulated in literature [7, 8]. However, for heart, kidney, liver and
mammary gland tissue this is not the case. Values for these body tissues should be
computed using the available data of the constituent elements.
The body tissues may be regarded as compounds. A compound can be considered
as a medium consisting of thin layers of pure elements in the right proportion [9]. For
body tissues, weight fractions wj of elements present in a variety of body tissues are
tabulated by Woodard and White and presented in Refs. [10, 11]. Using the weight
fractions wj of the different elements present in the tissue, the compounds value for
hZ/Ai can be computed as:
  X
Zj
Z
(4)
=
wj ,
A
A
j
j
in which wj is the weight fraction of the j-th elemental constituent, Zj and Aj are
atomic number respectively weight of the elemental constituent. The relation between
the average excitation energy hIi of a compound and the weight fraction, atomic number, atomic weight and excitation energy Ij of the elements reads [7, 9]:
"P
#
w
(Z
/A
)
ln
I
j
j
j
j
j
P
.
(5)
hIi = exp
j (Zj /Aj )
Eq. 5 is known as Braggs additivity rule and provides an estimation for hIi. However, Eq. 5 disregards the fact that certain input data, e.g. I-values for nitrogen N and
oxygen O, refer to gaseous states and may be used to compute the mean excitation
energy of a liquid or solid compound. Furthermore, Braggs additivity rule disregards
molecular binding effects. Since electrons in a compound are more tightly bound in
molecules compared to the constituent elements, the effective excitation energies Ij are
in general higher than those of the constituent elements. To account for these effects,
7

Table 2: Values for mean excitation energies Ij in eV of elemental constituents in gas and condensed compounds as given by
Berger and Seltzer [7]. Note: fluoride F and chlorine Cl also have
alternate values for Ij but are not listed here.
Elemental
Constituent

Gas
compounds

Solid and
liquid compounds

Hydrogen H
Carbon C
Nitrogen N
Oxygen O
Others

19.2
70
82
97

19.2
81
82
106
1.13I

Berger and Seltzer [7] propose the following recommendations as improvements for Eq.
5:
1. To account for molecular binding effects, Berger and Seltzer propose alternate
mean excitation energies for the elemental constituents H, C, N, O, F and Cl in
gas and condensed compounds;
2. To other elemental constituents the so-called 13% rule applies: the elemental
excitation energies I are multiplied by 1.13 to obtain Ij before calculation of the
mean excitation energy hIi by means of Eq. 5;
3. The two previous recommendations are superseded by experimental values when
available.
Table 2 shows values for mean excitation energies of elemental constituents in gas and
condensed compounds as recommended by Berger and Seltzer.

1.4

Range: continuously slowing down approximation

The range of a proton in a medium is defined as the distance traversed before the
proton comes to a hold. The range is calculated using the continuously slowing down
approximation method (CSDA method), which is based on two assumptions. First,
continuous energy loss of the proton along its trajectory is assumed. Second, assuming
the protons trajectory is straight, the lateral scattering is neglected. Under these
conditions, the range can be computed using the CSDA method. Given the initial
kinetic energy of the proton T0 , the range of the proton is:
Z 0 1
dE
(T 0 ) dT 0 ,
(6)
R=

T0 dx
with R the range of the particle in g cm2 and |dE/dx|1 is the reciprocal of Eq. 1 as
function of kinetic energy T . The lower boundary is kinetic energy T0 of the proton as
8

Table 3: Values in considered kinematic range for which stopping


powers and ranges are calculated. Both values for kinetic energy
T in MeV and are given. The comments describe the chosen
energy values.
Comment

Kinetic Energy
T (MeV)

Kinematic Variable

5, 10
50, 100, 150
180
200, 230, 250
300

0.10, 0.15
0.33, 0.47, 0.59
0.65
0.69, 0.74, 0.78
0.86

Lower limit of Eq. 1


Intermediate energies
Maximum energy KVI-CART
Typical for PBT accelerators
Upper boundary considered range

it starts to travers the considered medium. The upper boundary corresponds to kinetic
energy T = 0, i.e. the proton is stopped in the medium.

Simulation and Results

In section 2.1 the model input parameters will be discussed, such as the quantities
describing the body tissues conform section 1.3 and the considered kinetic energy range.
The results of this work, i.e. the proton stopping powers and ranges for different body
tissues, are given in section 2.2. Stopping powers and ranges for four of these tissues
are also given by the NIST database, conform a calculation method given in ICRU
Report 49 [3]. For these four tissues results are compared.

2.1

Energy range and input parameters

The considered kinematic range for which the model is evaluated is presented in Table
3. The upper limit of the energy range coincides with typical proton beam energies
used in proton beam therapy. The lower limit coincides with lower limit of the Bethe
equation. Below kinetic energies T of approximately 5 MeV for protons Eq. 1 is invalid
and phenomenological fits according Anderson and Ziegler should be used instead [6],
see also section 1.2.
For eight of the twelve studied body tissues values of the mean ratio hZ/Ai, density
and mean excitation energy hIi are tabulated by Sternheimer, Berger and Seltzer [8]
and shown in Table 4. The given densities hold for temperature T = 293 K and
pressure p = 1 atm.
For heart, kidney, liver and mammary gland tissues the values for weight fractions
wj , ratios hZ/Ai, densities and mean excitation energies I are calculated according
to the method described in section 1.3 and presented in Table 5. The used elemental
compositions and corresponding weight fractions wj for the tissues are taken from
9

Table 4: Density , ratio hZ/Ai and excitation energy I given


for water and body tissues available in the NIST database. Values
are from Ref. [8].
Biological tissue
or compound

hZ/Ai

(g/cm3 )

I
(eV)

Liquid Water
Compact Bone
Adipose Tissue
Skeletal Muscle
Brain Tissue
Lung Tissue
Skin Tissue
Testes Tissue

0.55509
0.53010
0.55947
0.54938
0.55423
0.54965
0.54932
0.55108

1.000
1.850
0.920
1.040
1.030
1.050
1.100
1.040

79.7
91.9
63.2
75.3
73.3
75.3
72.7
75.0

Table 5: Weight fractions and densities for the four studied body
tissues according to Woodard and White [10]. Using this data, values for ratio hZ/Ai and excitation energy I are calculated conform
the method described in section 1.3.
Biological tissue
or compound
Heart
Kidney
Liver
Mammary gland

wj
wH
wC
wN
wO
0.104
0.103
0.102
0.106

0.139
0.132
0.139
0.332

0.03
0.03
0.03
0.03

0.718
0.724
0.716
0.527

hZ/Ai

(g/cm3 )

I
(eV)

0.5461
0.5451
0.5436
0.5495

1.050
1.050
1.060
1.020

73.6
73.9
74.0
70.0

Woodard and White [10]. The presence of elements such as sodium Na, phosphor P,
sulfate S and chlorine Cl is neglected, since their relative presence is less than 1 per
cent according to Woodard et al. As before, the given densities apply to a temperature
T = 293 K and pressure p = 1 atm.

2.2

Results

For the liquid water and the body tissues discussed in Tables 4 and 5 the computed
values for the stopping power hdE/dxi (MeV cm2 g1 ) and CSDA range R (g cm2 )
are shown in Table 6. The kinetic energies for which both quantities are calculated are
listed in Table 3.
As mentioned before, the NIST database provides stopping powers and ranges for
the first four media listed in Table 4. In Table 7, calculated stopping powers are
compared with values provided by the NIST for these four media. Results are compared
at 5, 10, 100 and 200 MeV. At the same kinetic energies, the calculated CSDA ranges
10

11

12.85
2.149
12.32
2.240
12.47
2.217

Adipose Tissue ( = 0.92 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
83.53
47.71
Range
0.03381
0.1165

Skeletal Muscle ( = 1.04 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.23
45.44
Range
0.03608
0.1228

Brain Tissue ( = 1.03 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
80.36
46.06
Range
0.03535
0.1211

7.152
7.85
7.281
7.715

12.28
2.252
12.25
2.258
12.22
2.264

Testes Tissue ( = 1.04 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.54
45.61
Range
0.03562
0.1223

Heart Tissue ( = 1.05 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.12
45.35
Range
0.03577
0.1230

Kidney Tissue ( = 1.05 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
78.89
45.23
Range
0.03597
0.1235

Liver Tissue ( = 1.06 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
78.68
Range
0.03607

Mammary Gland Tissue ( = 1.02 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
80.42
46.04
12.45
Range
0.03499
0.1212
2.221

45.10
0.1238

12.36
2.238

45.72
0.1219

Skin Tissue ( = 1.10 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.78
Range
0.03540

7.171
7.837

7.189
7.817

7.237
7.766

7.243
7.758

12.38
2.234

45.46
0.1227

7.215
7.791

7.300
7.698

7.211
7.790

7.508
7.474

6.781
8.306

7.230
7.775

100 MeV

Lung Tissue ( = 1.05 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.27
Range
0.03606
12.32
2.245

11.56
2.401

Compact Bone ( = 1.85 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
73.38
42.3
Range
0.03895
0.1326

50 MeV
12.35
2.242

10 MeV

Liquid Water ( = 1.00 g/cm3 )


Stopping power
79.14
45.45
Range
0.03587
0.1228

5 MeV

5.435
15.78

5.341
16.07

5.356
16.02

5.369
15.98

5.405
15.88

5.408
15.86

5.389
15.93

5.451
15.74

5.386
15.93

5.602
15.30

5.071
16.96

5.400
15.89

150 MeV

4.803
21.67

4.720
22.06

4.733
22.00

4.744
21.94

4.777
21.80

4.779
21.78

4.762
21.87

4.817
21.61

4.760
21.88

4.949
21.01

4.483
23.27

4.777
21.81

180 MeV

4.483
25.98

4.406
26.45

4.418
26.38

4.429
26.31

4.459
26.14

4.461
26.12

4.445
26.22

4.497
25.91

4.443
26.23

4.619
25.20

4.186
27.88

4.459
26.15

200 MeV

4.105
32.99

4.034
33.58

4.046
33.48

4.055
33.40

4.083
33.18

4.085
33.15

4.071
33.28

4.118
32.89

4.069
33.30

4.228
32.00

3.835
35.39

4.084
33.19

230 MeV

Table 6: Calculated stopping power hdE/dxi (MeV cm2 g1 ) in


and CSDA range R (g cm2 ) for kinetic energies T ranging from
5 to 300 MeV.

3.902
37.99

3.835
38.66

3.846
38.56

3.855
38.46

3.882
38.20

3.883
38.18

3.870
38.32

3.914
37.88

3.868
38.34

4.019
36.85

3.646
40.74

3.883
38.21

250 MeV

3.512
51.53

3.452
52.44

3.462
52.29

3.470
52.17

3.494
51.81

3.495
51.78

3.484
51.97

3.523
51.38

3.482
52.00

3.616
50.00

3.283
55.22

3.495
51.82

300 MeV

Table 7: Calculated stopping power hdE/dxi (MeV cm2 g1 ) according to this work compared with values given by NIST database
[3] for liquid water, compact bone, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle.
5 MeV

10 MeV

100 MeV

200 MeV

Liquid Water ( = 1.00 g/cm3 )


This calculation
79.14
45.45
NIST (ICRU 49) 79.06
45.64

7.234
7.286

4.460
4.491

Compact Bone ( = 1.85 g/cm3 )


This calculation
73.38
42.30
NIST (ICRU 49) 72.24
41.94

6.782
6.776

4.187
4.185

Adipose Tissue ( = 0.920 g/cm3 )


This calculation
83.53
47.71
NIST (ICRU 49) 82.51
47.39

7.508
7.492

4.619
4.610

Skeletal Muscle ( = 1.04 g/cm3 )


This calculation
79.23
45.44
NIST (ICRU 49) 78.19
45.14

7.212
7.208

4.444
4.442

for these four media are compared with values provided by the NIST database [3] in
Table 8.

Discussion

The results of the current study concerning proton stopping power and range in several
body tissues are shown in Table 6. Comparing stopping powers and ranges in body
tissues with liquid water, it can be concluded protons in water and body tissues behave in a similar manner. This comparable behavior may suggest that body tissues
have compositions and properties similar to water. A possible explanation for the corresponding properties might be that body tissues mainly consist of water. However,
the behavior of protons in compact bone is not comparable with water. This different
behavior between compact bone and water is probably due to the significant difference
in density and mean excitation energy I, see Table 4.
The comparisons between values recommended by the NIST database [3] and values
found in the current study are given in Table 7 and 8. Both the calculated stopping powers and ranges agree to great extent with values recommended by the NIST database.
The only minor deviations occur in the low kinematic limit, i.e. kinetic energy T = 5
MeV. This difference may be due to the fact that the ICRU [3] uses phenomenological
fits proposed by Anderson and Ziegler [6] to compute the stopping power and range
in the low kinematic regime, whereas the current study uses the Bethe equation to

12

Table 8: Calculated range R (g cm2 ) based on the CSDA


method according to this work compared with values provided
by the NIST database [3].
5 MeV

10 MeV

100 MeV

200 MeV

Liquid Water ( = 1.00 g/cm3 )


This calculation 0.03587 0.1229
NIST (ICRU 49) 0.03623 0.1230

7.776
7.718

26.15
25.96

Compact Bone ( = 1.85 g/cm3 )


This calculation 0.03896 0.1326
NIST (ICRU 49) 0.03984 0.1345

8.306
8.319

27.89
27.91

Adipose Tissue ( = 0.920 g/cm3 )


This calculation 0.03382 0.1165
NIST (ICRU 49) 0.03448 0.1179

7.475
7.492

25.20
25.25

Skeletal Muscle ( = 1.04 g/cm3 )


This calculation 0.03608 0.1228
NIST (ICRU 49) 0.03662 0.1244

7.795
7.802

26.23
26.24

compute stopping powers at T = 5 MeV.


Although the current results agree well with the values in the NIST database,
improvements in the model are possible. One possible improvement is concerned with
temperature at which properties of the tissue, such as density and excitation energy
I, are evaluated. In the current model and I are evaluated at ambient conditions,
i.e. T = 298 K and p = 1 atm. However, the temperature within body tissues is
around T = 310 K. Evaluating values for and I at T = 310 K would provide a more
accurate description of the body tissues and hence a more precise prediction of the
proton stopping power and range.

Conclusion

This paper presents calculated proton energy losses and ranges for twelve different body
tissues in the kinetic energy regime 5 - 300 MeV. The studied tissues and materials are
liquid water, compact bone, adipose, skeletal brain, lung, skin, testes, heart, kidney,
liver and mammary gland tissues. It is found that, except for compact bone tissue,
protons in body tissues behave similar to protons in liquid water in terms of energy
deposition behaviour.

13

Table 9: Density , ratio hZ/Ai, excitation energy I and parameters concerned with density effect correction term () given for
water and body tissues. Materials are considerd to be nonconductors, hence 0 0. Values are from Ref. [8].
Biological tissue
or compound

hZ/Ai

(g/cm3 )

I
(eV)

Liquid Water
Compact Bone
Adipose Tissue
Skeletal Muscle
Brain Tissue
Lung Tissue
Skin Tissue
Testes Tissue

0.55509
0.53010
0.55947
0.54938
0.55423
0.54965
0.54932
0.55108

1.000
1.850
0.920
1.040
1.030
1.050
1.100
1.040

79.7
91.9
63.2
75.3
73.3
75.3
72.7
75.0

a
k
x0
x1
C
()
0.09116
0.05822
0.10278
0.08636
0.08255
0.08588
0.09459
0.08533

3.4773
3.6419
3.4817
3.5330
3.5585
3.5353
3.4643
3.5428

0.2400
0.0944
0.1827
0.2282
0.2206
0.2261
0.2019
0.2274

2.8004
3.0201
2.6530
2.7999
2.8021
2.8001
2.7526
2.7988

3.5017
3.3390
3.2367
3.4809
3.4279
3.4708
3.3546
3.4698

Density Effect Correction ()

The term () corrects for the so-called density effect at high energies: due to high
velocities the electric field perpendicular perpendicular to the direction of motion extends. This results in a bigger possible energy transfer and hence a higher stopping
power. However, real media become polarized which limits the extension and thus
the stopping power. This whole mechanism is incorporated in the density effect correction term (). The density effect term can be computed using Sternheimers
parametrization [12]:

2(ln 10)x C

2(ln 10)x C + a(x x)k


1
() =

0 102(xx0 )

if
if
if
if

x > x1 ;
x [x0 , x1 ];
x < x0 (nonconductors);
x < x0 (conductors).

(7)

where x log10 . Sternheimer, Berger and Seltzer [8] tabulate values for the parameters C, x0 , x1 , a and k for various substances, including some body tissues. Table
9 shows the parameters for body tissus according to Sternheimer et al., it is assumed
that human tissues are nonconductors (0 = 0 in Eq. 7).
The solid curve in Fig. 2 shows the energy loss of protons in compact bone tissue
over six orders of kinetic energy T . The dashed curve shows the bethe equation without
the density effect correction (). From Fig. 2, it follows that the density effect plays
a significant role at kinetic energies T & 1 GeV.

14

50

20
1/2

10

without ()

2
1
10

100

104

1000

105

106

Figure 2: Electronic stopping power hdE/dxi (in units MeV


cm2 /g) as function of kinetic energy T for compact bone. Below
T . 110 MeV, the curve shows a 1/ 2 dependence. The dashed
line shows the stopping power according to Bethes equation without the density effect correction term ().

15

References
[1] W.D. Newhauser and R. Zhang. The physics of proton therapy. Physics in
Medicine and Biology, 60(8):R155, 2015.
[2] Eanna E Flanagan and Scott A Hughes. Measuring gravitational waves from
binary black hole coalescences. i. signal to noise for inspiral, merger, and ringdown.
Physical Review D, 57(8):4535, 1998.
[3] ICRU Report 49. Stopping powers and ranges for protons and alpha particles.
Medical Physics, 21(5):709710, 1994. Tables and graphs of these data are available
at http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Star/Text/PSTAR.html.
[4] K. A. Olive et al. Review of Particle Physics. Chin. Phys., C38:090001, 2014.
[5] D.E. Groom, N.V. Mokhov, and S.I. Striganov. Muon stopping power and range
tables 10 mev100 tev. Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, 78(2):183356,
2001.
[6] H. H. Andersen and J.F. Ziegler. Hydrogen. stopping powers and ranges in all
elements. 1977.
[7] S. M. Seltzer and M. J. Berger. Evaluation of the collision stopping power of
elements and compounds for electrons and positrons. The International Journal
of Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 33(11):11891218, 1982.
[8] R.M. Sternheimer, M.J. Berger, and Stephen M. Seltzer. Density effect for the
ionization loss of charged particles in various substances. Atomic Data and Nuclear
Data Tables, 30(2):261271, 1984.
[9] W.H. Bragg and R. Kleeman. On the particles of radium, and their loss of
range in passing through various atoms and molecules. The London, Edinburgh,
and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 10(57):318340, 1905.
[10] H.Q. Woodard and D.R. White. The composition of body tissues. The British
journal of radiology, 59(708):12091218, 1986.
[11] D.R. White, E.M. Widdowson, H.Q. Woodard, and J.W.T. Dickerson. The composition of body tissues. (ii) fetus to young adult. The British journal of radiology,
64(758):149159, 1991.
[12] R. M. Sternheimer. The density effect for the ionization loss in various materials.
Physical Review, 88(4):851, 1952.

16